The Perplexing Now | Teen Ink

The Perplexing Now

November 16, 2021
By yajika BRONZE, New Delhi, Other
yajika BRONZE, New Delhi, Other
3 articles 2 photos 0 comments

‘Now’, a three-letter word with innumerable meanings. The clock keeps ticking, no matter how hard we try to capture each frame on the camera. Our world changes with each second thus time makes us who we are today. How can one function without a sense of time? There would be no future goals to strive for. Without time, there would be no past self, and doesn't our past make us who we are today? Ever since being, we are encouraged to use it wisely, taught that time is precious but essentially why? The only point of defining time as every second in the day doesn’t make it precious. What makes it precious is the one point out of the numerous collection-Now. Our past had a 'now and our future will too. There is never a time when our lives don’t have a perpetual present. 

“The Present”, an inspiring story by Spencer Johnson illustrates the tale of a juvenile boy who is embarked on a journey to adulthood, in pursuit of a unique gift by the universe. He searches incessantly, only to run to the ground that this gift is-The Present. Johnson reminds us of an often forgotten fact in rightful words-“It is hard to let go of the past if you have not learned from the past. As soon as you learn and let go you improve the present.”

Eternal present

The eternal present is where your whole life unfolds, it remains constant. The current moment is the only way you can escape the limited confinement of mind. We all understand it is important for us to be present at the juncture fully. The past had a former now. When we reminisce, we reactivate a former present. But it doesn’t mean there was no past. The past indeed exists, but the present is a relative term. Relative to all that has happened and will happen.

Yes, the clock ticked two times when you even say the word ‘now’. When we fantasise about the future, there are only two alternatives- the utopian and the unsatisfactory one. If the future is imagined to be better, it gives us ceaseless anticipation. If conceptualised worse, anxiety comes along without a warning; but both are illusionary. On the contrary, the existing presence of us comes into our lives automatically. When we are witnessing presence, we are no longer trapped in the delusions. 

Just the watches?

Ever since we start to read, we are taught to analyse time too. To sleep at 10 in the night, to exercise at 5 in the evening, to wake up at 7 in the morning; we build our schedules with clock time. But it is not just about the time displayed by our watches. It is to infinity and beyond; about learning from the past. We stumble on the hurdles of the past, with self-realisation for our undefined future. Setting a goal and working towards it is also time. 

No stranger to it

Is there something that you ‘should be doing but are not? In one aspect, get up and just do it! ( thank you, Nike). Or completely accept your laziness and enjoy the inactiveness. If we are fully and consciously into it, we soon might come out of it. (Or we might won’t unless we get a good nap) Either way, there is the only way into the real world- be aware of the present. Being aware doesn’t mean having an anguishing regime, but realising the importance of it, or in terms of economics what is said to be an opportunity cost. Everything has an opportunity cost as to what you could have done instead. Going over the fine-tooth comb of the opportunity cost of every action helps us live to the fullest without any regrets. We indeed are no stranger to ‘now’ but all of us often omit it out of our lives. 

Esoteric stillness

The untouched water seems still, devoid of any visible waves. But are the microorganisms still too? They are moving but eyes can only see the macroscopic things. If we are sitting on our desks for hours and rooted to the spot, we might appear still, but is our mind still too? Between doing numerous tasks daily, we time and again forget what we want. Thus often find ourselves just running back-and-forth, doing nothing for ourselves in the present. Pushing to the edge enhances us but having a stillness associated with resilience is a requisite. It is an outlook we can cultivate to stay focused on the important things rather than the urgent ones, keeping us from getting our skates on. Giving a stillness is to stop regretting the past and halt fearing the future.  

47 per cent of the time, people are thinking about something other than what they're currently doing. No matter what people are doing, they are mind-wandering at least 30 per cent of the time. Mind-wandering isn't just continual, it's pervasive. It pervades everything that we do. And to balance that, we need stillness. There can’t be any defined way to find stillness, as it is at odds for each one of us.


Mitsuo Aida, the most important calligrapher of the twentieth century simply writes-“Here, Now”. Giving a melancholy appreciation of the fugitive, he philosophises about the importance of the present moment and the passage of time. For decades, we have contemplated different meanings of ‘now’. Our life estranges us from true essence, making it easy for us to live a life with unconsciousness. However, the one leading it is us. We all have infinite strength and potential (but let's also be realistic here). Utopia is too good to be true, but we can at least try achieving it. Our Ninja-Warrior-themed life is a venture into personal mastery, infinite meanings of the present, and finding our purpose in the cardinal ‘now’. 

The author's comments:

At times, the present seems illusional despite the real chills. This article presents my view on the same. Ponder upon the same! (maybe during sleepless 3 am thoughts) :)

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 5 2022 at 8:52 am
مريم BRONZE, Glasgow, Other
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Everything is hard, before it is easy

Well done! This is really really well written, and interesting too. <33 You have a really clear beautiful way of writing.